Tips on How to Pass a LEED Exam on the First Try and in One Week and Responses to Some of the Readers’ Questions

The following are tips on how to pass a LEED Exam on the first try and in one week and my responses to some readers’ questions, and I think they may help you:

1. I found the reference guide way too tedious. Can I only read your book and just refer to the USGBC reference guide (if one is available for the exam I am taking) when needed?

Response: Yes. That is one way to study.

2. Is one week really enough for me to prepare for the exam while I am working?

Response: Yes, if you can put in 40 to 60 hours during the week, study hard and you can pass the exam. I have a reader who studied my book for 3 days and passed the LEED GA Exam. This exam is similar to a history or political science exam; you need to MEMORIZE the information. If you take too long, you will probably forget the information by the time you take the test.

In my book, “LEED GA Exam Guide,” I give you tips on how to MEMORIZE the information, and I have already highlighted/underlined the most important information that you definitely have to MEMORIZE to pass the exam. It is my goal to use this book to help you to pass the LEED exam with the minimum time and effort. I want to make your life easier.

3. Would you say that if I buy your LEED Exam Guide Series books, I could pass the exam using no other study materials? The books sold on the USGBC website run in the hundreds of dollars, so I would be quite happy if I could buy your book and just use that.

Response: First of all, there are readers who have passed the LEED Exam by reading only my books in the LEED Exam Guides Series ( My goal is to write one book for each of the LEED exams, and make each of my books stand alone to prepare people for one specific LEED exam. Each book is intended as a one-stop shop and a comprehensive guide for a specific LEED exam.

Secondly, people learn in many different ways. That is why I have added some new advice below for people who learn better by doing practice tests.

If you do the following things, you have a very good chance of passing the LEED exam (NOT a guarantee, nobody can guarantee you will pass):

a. If you study, understand and MEMORIZE all of the information in my book, “LEED GA Exam Guide,” and do NOT panic when you run into problems you are not familiar with, and use the guess strategy in my book, then you have a very good chance of passing the exam.

You need to UNDERSTAND and MEMORIZE the information in the book and score almost a perfect score on the mock exam in this book. This book will give you the BULK of the most CURRENT information that you need for the specific LEED exam you are taking. You HAVE to know the information in my book in order to pass the exam.

b. If you have not done any LEED projects before, I suggest you also go to the USGBC website and download the latest LEED credit templates for the LEED rating system related to the LEED exam you are taking. Read the templates and become familiar with them. This is important. See link below:

There are so MANY different ways to study and pass, pick one path that is right for you.

The LEED exam is NOT an easy exam, but anyone with a 7th grade education should be able to study and pass the LEED exam if he prepares correctly.

If you have extra time and money, the only other book I would recommend is the USGBC reference guide, the official book for the LEED exam. I know some people who did not even read the reference guide from cover to cover when they took the exam. They just studied the information in my book, and only referred to the reference guide to look up a few things, and they passed on the first try. Some of my readers have even passed WITHOUT reading the USGBC reference guide AT ALL.

c. If you want to be safe and do additional sample tests to find out if you are ready for the real exam, I would suggest my book, “LEED GA Mock Exams.” The mock exams are very close to actual exam.

In fact, some of my readers have passed the LEED exam with a high score by just reading my book, “LEED GA Exam Guide,” and taking the samples tests at “LEED GA Mock Exams” WITHOUT reading the USGBC reference guide AT ALL.

4. I am preparing for the LEED exam. Do I need to read the 2″ thick reference?

Response: See answer above.

5. For LEED v3.0, will the total number of points be more than 110 in total if a project gets all of the extra credits and all of the standard credits?

Response: No. For LEED v3.0, there are 100 base points and 10 possible bonus points. There are many ways to get bonus points (extra credits or exemplary performance), but you can have a maximum number of 6 ID bonus points and 4 Regional Priority bonus points. So, the maximum points for ANY project will be 110.

On another note, the older versions of LEED rating systems all have less than 110 possible points except LEED for Home, which has 136 possible points.

6. For the exam, do I need to know the project phase in which a specific prerequisite/credit takes place? (i.e., pre-design, schematic design, etc.)

Response: The information on the project phase (NOT LEED submittal phase) for each prerequisite/credit is NOT mentioned in the USGBC reference guide, but it is covered in the USGBC workshops. If it is important enough for the USGBC workshops to cover, then it may show up on the actual LEED exam.

Most, if not all, other third party books completely miss this important information. I cover it for each prerequisite/credit in my book for the LEED exam because I think it is very important.

Some people THINK that the LEED exam ONLY tests information covered by the USGBC reference guide. They are wrong.

The LEED exam does test information NOT covered by the USGBC reference guide at all. This may include the process of LEED submittal and project team coordination, etc.

I would MEMORIZE this information if I were you, because it may show up on the LEED exam. Besides, this information is not hard to memorize once you understand it, and you need to know it to do actual LEED submittal work anyway.

7. Are you writing new versions of books for the new LEED exams? What new books are you writing?

Response: Yes, I am working on other books in the LEED Exam Guide Series. I will be writing one book for each of the LEED exam. See for more information.

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